Contact: Lindsay Hyman
Justice Clarence Thomas to Receive Highest Honor from the Horatio Alger Association
Supreme Court Associate Justice to be Named 2010 Norman Vincent Peale Recipient
WASHINGTON, February 23, 2010 - The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is pleased to announce that U. S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is the recipient of the 2010 Norman Vincent Peale Award.
The Norman Vincent Peale Award is annually conferred upon an association member who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions to society, been an active participant in the association, and continues to exhibit courage, tenacity and integrity in the face of great challenges. The award is named in honor of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who was an outstanding leader of the association for more than 40 years.
"We are delighted to honor Justice Thomas for his ongoing support and commitment to the association," said David L. Sokol, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association. "His contributions have proven invaluable, and he is truly an example of the American Dream - a steward of the Horatio Alger Association's mission."
Thomas was born and raised in Georgia by his mother and grandparents. With a limited family income, Thomas adopted a strong work ethic to support his family, and his first job was mowing lawns for $3 for every 10 hours of work. After attending segregated public and parochial schools, he spent four years studying for the priesthood before changing direction and enrolling at Holy Cross College. He graduated in the top 7 percent of his class and later earned a juris doctorate degree from Yale Law School in 1974.
He began his career as an attorney general for John Danforth, and became Danforth's legislative assistant when Danforth was elected senator from Missouri. Less than two years later, Thomas served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights with the U.S. Department of Education. That job led to his appointment as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1991, after less than two years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Thomas was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Throughout his career, Thomas has been committed to guiding and teaching others. He addresses youth groups and often meets with schoolchildren who are visiting the Supreme Court.
"The Horatio Alger Association is committed to giving at-risk students a college education, the first step toward a bright future," Thomas says. "I am proud and honored to be a part of that."
Annually since 1992, Thomas hosts a reception at the U.S. Supreme Court Building to honor Horatio Alger new members and national scholars. He has also served on the association's board of directors since 2000.
Thomas will formally receive the award on April 9 in Washington, D.C., alongside 11 remarkable individuals who will be inducted into the Horatio Alger Association for their hard work, self-reliance and perseverance:
- Albert T. Annexstad, Chairman, Federated Insurance Companies
- William Alfred Cook, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cook Group Incorporated
- Tommy Ray Franks, Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command, and Chairman, Franks & Associates
- Joseph M. "Jody" Grant, Partner and Senior Advisor, BankCap Partners, and Chairman Emeritus, Texas Capital Bank
- Jenard M. Gross, President, Gross Investments
- Lawrence Mead Higby, CEO (Retired), Vice Chairman and Advisor, Apria Healthcare Group Inc.
- Richard D. Holland, Philanthropist and Chairman (Retired), Rollheiser Holland Kahler Advertising
- Alan B. Miller, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Health Services, Inc.
- Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State, and Provost, Stanford University
- James M. Seneff Jr., Founder and CEO, CNL Financial Group, Inc.
- Earl W. Stafford Sr., Chief Executive Officer, The Wentworth Group LLC, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Stafford Foundation, Inc.
Thomas and the new members will be honored at the Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies April 8-10, 2010. Activities include three days of meetings and celebrations. The Horatio Alger national scholars, remarkable high school seniors who have excelled despite adversity, will also be honored during the three-day gathering.
A complete list of all of the Horatio Alger members can be found at http://www.horatioalger.org/members.cfm.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program, state scholarship rpograms, and graduate grants. The association awards nearly $7 million annually in college scholarships and has given more than $70 million to deserving students since 1984. The association is a 2009 Combined Federal Campaign participant, ID# 77062. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
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